The stage is set for the ninth leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Tour on Sunday where a field of 51 players including those from Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge at the par 72 Sigona Golf Club course.
The field in the event being sponsored by Magical Kenya, Absa Group and East Africa Breweries also includes top amateurs led by Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Paul Muchangi from Limuru Country Club.
Others are Simon Njogu from the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha, Muthaiga’s Mutahi Kibugu and two female amateurs Naomi Wafula from Kitale and Vet Lab’s Channelle Wangai.
“I decided to participate in the Safari Tour as part of my preparation for the Kenya Open. This will be in addition to the first two events in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series in Nyeri and Muthaiga," said Muchangi.
Leading the pros list in the hunt for the eight slots in the 2020 Magical Kenya Open scheduled for Karen Country Club from March 12, will be Greg Snow who has already claimed three titles in the on-going series including the last two events at Thika Greens and his home course Muthaiga.
Snow, who is also preparing to play in two Sunshine Tour events in South Africa before he returns home for the Magical Kenya Open, will be facing home Sigona based pros John Wangai and Mohit Mediratta who are expected to use their home course advantage to deny him his third straight victory and fourth this season.
Two times winner Dismas Indiza, who is also currently leading on points in the series, has not produced his usual magic over the past two events where he missed cut in one of them though being a long hitter, the Sigona course may favour him more than the others.
Also hunting for a title, cash and a place in the Kenya Open, are Golf Park’s David Wakhu and Tony Omuli, Windsor’s Riz Charania, Kopan Timbe of Thika Greens, and Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige.
Of the foreign players, Uganda’s Philip Kisozi - currently in 14th place in the Order of Merit and second for the two slots reserved for the regional players behind Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh - will be seeking to improve his position by not only making the cut but finish in a respectable position particularly in the absence of Odoh.
Other regional players seeking the two slots are Zambia’s Sydney Wemba, Paul Chidale of Malawi and Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi who have been camping here since the seventh leg at Windsor.
Teeing off for the first round which follows Saturday’s Johnnie Walker sponsored Pro-Am, is set for 8am with the last team teeing off at 10.40am.